After the magisterial teaching of Luke 6, Jesus takes to the road in Luke 7:1-10. Jesus goes to Capernaum where Jewish emissaries meet him. There they plead on the behalf of a respected centurion who desires healing for one of his esteemed servants. We witness Jesus power to speak healing from afar. But alongside this theme, Luke highlights the great faith of the centurion to trust in Christ for healing even from a distance.
In verses 1-3, we are given the setting, the crisis, and the hope for healing.
- What is a centurion? What importance if any does the centurion’s role play in understanding the meaning of this passage?
- What is the significance of the centurion sending Jewish elders to plead earnestly for his servant’s healing?
- How do these initial movements of the passage display the submission, humility, and faith of the centurion?
In verses 4-8, we are given the elder’s pleading and the centurion’s response to the approaching Jesus
- To encourage Jesus to come with them, the Jewish elders extolled the worthiness (v.4) of the centurion. In verse 6, however, the centurion admits his unworthiness as a means to keep Jesus from coming any further. Compare and contrast these two responses.
- What does the analogy of verse 8 intend to communicate? How does it relate to the main theme of the passage?
- The centurion displays such great faith that he does not have to see Jesus to believe in him. Though physically absent, Jesus can show his presence effectively by simply saying the word (v.7). What does the centurion’s response to Jesus teach about the nature of saving faith?
Finally, in verses 8-10, we are given Jesus response to the centurion’s faith.
- What about the faith of the centurion caused Jesus to marvel?
- Jesus says that he’s not seen this quality of faith in Israel—among God’s chosen people. What does this teach us about where faith comes from? Further, how is the centurion the beginning of the fulfillment of God’s covenant promises to the nations?
- Compare and contrast your own faith to that of the centurion. How does your faith need to become more reflective of the faith presented here by the centurion? How might you take steps toward a deeper faith in Christ right now?